Mar302012

Buy 60,000 Priority Club points and Platinum elite status for $460

Priority Club has a special offer of 20% to 50% bonus points for points purchases made online from March 30 – April 30, 2012. IHG Priority Club Platinum elite can be yours for $460 along with 60,000 points in your account through this sale offer. This offer allows a member to buy 75,000 points for $575. The normal limit for buying points is 50,000 points per year.

[April 2, 2012 Update: Daily Getaways is a travel sale offering the opportunity to buy up to 500,000 Priority Club points on Monday April 9.  This sale allows you to get 75,000 points for $461 and Priority Club Platinum status. My April 2 post in the link discusses strategies for buying points through the Daily Getaways flash sale.]

Earning 60,000 points in a calendar year means IHG Priority Club Platinum Status for the rest of 2012 and 2013. Priority Club Special offer: up to 50% Bonus*
Purchase points between March 30 and April 30, 2012 and earn up to 50% more points!
Buy 1,000 – 19,000 points: get a 20% Bonus
Buy 20,000 – 29,000 points: get a 30% Bonus
Buy 30,000 – 39,000 points: get a 40% Bonus
Buy 40,000 – 50,000 points: get a 50% Bonus

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Priority Club has a variable purchase rate that decreases at higher points levels. The normal cost to buy points:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points = $13.50 per 1,000 points.
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points = $12.50 per 1,000 points.
  • 26,000 – 50,000 points = $11.50 per 1,000 points.

The lower purchase rate at 26,000 points means you can buy 33,800 points for $299 with the 30% bonus compared to paying $312.50 for 32,500 points when buying 25,000 points at $12.50 per 1,000 during this sale.

Buying at the Sweet Spots

Here are a few changeover spots on the Priority Club purchase chart where it is better to pay for an extra 1,000 points to get a better deal.

  • $135.00 = 12,000 points for a 10,000 points purchase.
  • $137.50 = 13,200 points for an 11,000 points purchase.

The rate drops from $13.50 to $12.50 per 1,000 points at 11,000 so it is better to buy 11,000 points than 10,000.

  • $237.50 = 22,800 points for a 19,000 points purchase.
  • $250 = 26,000 points for a 20,000 points purchase.

The bonus points increases from 20% to 30% at 20,000 points so it is better to buy 20,000 points with this sale rather than 19,000 points. You get 3,200 additional points for $12.50.

  • $312.50 = 32,500 points for a 25,000 points purchase.
  • $299 = 33,800 points for a 26,000 points purchase.

The purchase rate drops from $12.50 per 1,000 points to $11.50 per 1,000 points at 26,000 points. You can actually buy 33,800 points for less than buying 32,500 points with this sale.

  • $333.50 = 37,700 points for a 29,000 points purchase.
  • $345 = 42,000 points for a 30,000 points purchase.

The bonus points increases from 30% to 40% at 30,000 points so it is better to buy 30,000 points with this sale rather than 29,000 points. You get an extra 4,300 points for an additional $11.50.

  • $448.50 = 54,600 points for a 39,000 points purchase.
  • $460 = 60,000 points for a 40,000 points purchase.

The bonus points increases from 40% to 50% at 40,000 points so it is better to buy 40,000 points with this sale rather than 39,000 points. You get an extra 5,400 points for an additional $11.50.

  • $575 = 75,000 points for a 50,000 points purchase.
  • Overall rate = $7.67 per 1,000 points.

 

IHG Priority Club Platinum Status for $460 through December 2013.

There is always the Points & Cash trick for buying points at $60 per 10,000 points by booking a Points & Cash Reward stay, buying points and cancelling the stay. The points go into your account. But Points & Cash purchased points do not count as points for Priority Club elite status.

The advantage of buying points through this bonus points sale is these points purchases count as qualifying points for elite status. Priority Club members earn Gold elite after earning 20,000 points or Platinum elite after earning 60,000 points in a calendar year.

$460 to buy 40,000 points with this special offer will result in 60,000 points posting to your Priority Club account and you will attain Priority Club Platinum status for the remainder of 2012 and all 2013.

And besides the 50% bonus points on IHG stays as a Platinum member, you can get status matches to other hotel loyalty programs like Club Carlson and Best Western.

Links:

Priority Club Buy Points

Priority Club Elite Status Benefits

Update: Priority Club Points & Cash loophole.

So many of the comments to this post mention the Points & Cash trick to buy 10,000 points for $60. Here is how that works for those of you not familiar with the Priority Club Points & Cash Rewards process.

Priority Club members have the option when booking a standard reward to buy 5,000 points for $40 or 10,000 points for $60 towards the reward night cost. This is allowed if you are short points (you only need 15,000 points in your account to buy a 25,000 points reward night) or even if you have loads of points in your account.

Holiday Inn Express Hollywood Walk of Fame (Standard Reward Night = 25,000 points)

May 14-17, 2012 lowest published rate = $193.99 for prepaid, advance purchase rate. This hotel has a 3-night rate after tax of $672.59.

Or I can spend 75,000 points for 3 nights. Redemption value = $8.96 per 1,000 points.

Or I can spend 45,000 points + $180 for this hotel stay. Redemption value = $672 – $180 = $492.

$492 cash saved on room rate / 45,000 points = $10.94 per 1,000 points redemption value.

 

Another advantage of booking a reward night is many hotels offer higher category rooms for the same reward price. The $193 room was a standard room on a prepaid nonrefundable rate. I can book a King Bed Executive Suite using a Points & Cash reward for 45,000 points + $180 per night that would have cost $826 using the Best Flexible Rate that has the same cancellation terms as the Points & Cash reward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The redemption value for my 45,000 points is now $826 – $180 = $646 / 45,000 = $14.35 per 1,000 points.

That is a high redemption value for Priority Club points.

 [Click on image to full size in separate window.]

This reservation can be cancelled up to 6pm on the day of arrival for this Points & Cash reward.

The Points & Cash trick comes into play when I cancel the reservation. I paid $180 for 30,000 points and that purchase is nonrefundable. 45,000 points were taken from my account to complete the 75,000 points reward transaction for this stay at the HI Express Hollywood.

After cancelling the stay I get to keep the 30,000 points and I effectively paid $60 per 10,000 points. I get back the 45,000 points from my account and my account balance goes from 73,724 to 103,724 points.

The Points & Cash trick allows me to buy 30,000 points for $180.

You need at least 5,000 Priority Club points in your account to book a 15,000 points Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express hotel buying 10,000 points for $60.

I don’t play this game, but it works for buying points at $60 per 10,000 points.

There is a limit of $240 in Points & Cash points purchases per day.

Priority Club Terms & Conditions

Priority Club Rewards “Points & Cash” is an option for obtaining a Reward Night. You may choose to redeem Priority Club points for a Reward Night in three ways: using your existing points for all required points for the desired Reward Night; using your existing points and 5,000 points purchased for US $40 to total the required points; or using your existing points and 10,000 points purchased for US $60 to total the required points. The total purchase on any single day may not exceed $240 US. Points & Cash Reward Nights may only be redeemed online at www.priorityclub.com. Point purchase amounts are subject to change by PCR. You must use a valid credit card for points purchase. Upon completion of the points purchase, you agree that the total dollar amount will be immediately charged to the credit card you specified. The cost for the points purchased is non-refundable. If the Reward Night is cancelled in accordance with these Terms & Conditions and with each hotel’s cancellation policy, the purchased Priority Club points will be re-deposited into your Priority Club Rewards account. Cash components of this award that are paid in currencies other than U.S. dollars will be adjusted by Priority Club Rewards, as needed, to reflect the USD equivalent of the non-USD payment at that time. All other Reward Night terms and conditions apply.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. […] Loyalty Traveler outlines for us how we can use Priority Club’s current bonus on points purchases to get 60,000 points and Platinum Elite status for just $460. There are some great values for redeeming Priority Club points, including the PointBreaks that I will be using for my stay Tuesday night. Chrissy currently has Platinum status and we have been quite happy with the service we have had at Priority Club properties. Details HERE. […]

Comments

  1. Ok, so I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth $100 to get the plat. status vs. buying the points at .6 each. Some questions:
    1. Is the 50% bonus on the stackable promos, or just the base points?
    2. Isn’t PC really grumpy about reward stays, ie no upgrades, no counting as stays for elite status, etc. It seems that if you’re using these 60K points and are only put in a standard room even if you are a plat. that diminishes the value quite a bit.
    3. Except Intercontinental, does HI even have club levels where you could get free breakfast, etc?
    I really appreciate your thoughts on this!

  2. @The Deal Mommy, if you don’t already have the Chase PC card, you can apply for it (there is a FT thread that contains the 80k bonus points link). They recently added a new benefit – lifetime Platinum status for as long as your have the card. First fee of $49 is waived, and it comes with a free night on every anniversary. No FX fees, either. My wife and I each got one in January, and plan to keep it.

  3. 1. Platinum elite 50% bonus points are only on base points. That is how all hotel loyalty programs work.
    Most IHG brands earn 10 points per dollar. Platinum member gets 15 points/$1.

    Spend $1,000 over the course of the year and that is an extra 5,000 points. ($30 value in your Points & Cash calculation).

    2. Only HHonors, Choice and SPG count award stays for elite status so that isn’t a major comparison. I have had upgrades on most of my IHG stays at Crowne Plaza hotels in the past year. I have also received bonus points and some free breakfasts and lounge access at some hotels and other discount offers as a Platinum member.

    Most of the HI/HIX hotels offer a little goodie bag with water and chips and a candy bar to Platinum elites.

    3. Club Levels are not too common and free breakfast is not that common, but it does happen. I have received over $100 in additional benefits in the past year as a Priority Club Platinum member and I really have not stayed many nights in IHG hotels (fewer than 10 nights).

  4. Thanks for the in-depth consideration. I actually got a goodie bag at a highway rest stop Candlewood Suites a few months ago for being a lowly gold…it cracked me up! I can definitely see where we could use the nights with 60k up front and think I might pull the trigger on this one. Jimmy, I like your idea too, but just did the Chase Hyatt. Think I’ll hit the PC next round. BTW, enter IHG to buy them through UR portal and get 4X UR points too!

  5. The Chase Priority card makes you Platinum for $49 a year. I don’t understand why you would buy points when you can do the points & $60 trick. I’m new to this, so can you explain a little bit?

  6. Sorry for asking this as I don’t stay at IHG much

    How much are 60,000 points worth?
    e.g. for cheapest hotel, how many nights does that get me? or for highest category hotel, is it only worth 1 night?

    I’m trying to think in terms of nights
    If $460 gets me IHG Plat + 4 nights at lowest category, maybe it’s good
    but if $60K only gets me 1 night at top hotel, my question becomes “would I pay $500 for 1-night stay?)”

    Thanks

  7. @Kevin – You can buy points for $60 per 10,000 using the Points & Cash trick. Not everyone sees that as an ethical way to get points. It works and if it works for you, then go for it.

    Not everyone wants another credit card or can obtain the Chase Priority Club card.

    This is just another route to elite for those that want to take advantage of buying points with this sale.

    Some people might want both the credit card bonus and buy points and still do the Points & Cash trick.

    It all depends on how many points you want to get and what you want to do with them.

    No doubt that someone can pick up a couple hundred thousand Priority Club points if they want them – without ever having to stay at an IHG hotel paying cash.

  8. Wouldn’t you know gogo kinda messed with me, there were no comments when I started to try to post that and now I look sorta silly and repetitive 🙂

  9. @Jerry Hung – I value Priority Club points at $6 per 1,000 points which is the rate a person can buy them using Points & Cash bookings and cancellation.

    Having set a $6 per 1,000 points value also means most IHG hotels are not a particularly good deal at the standard reward rates.

    Crowne Plaza 25,000 points per night is $150 in points if you buy points using the Cash & Points method. At $460 for 60,000 points with this current bonus points offer the rate is $7.67 per 1,000 points and the 25,000 points reward night = $191.75.

    Reward nights cover tax so basically the published room rate needs to be over $175 ($175 + 10% tax = $192.50) to get a better deal with a 25,000 points reward buying points with this bonus offer compared to paying cash. And I am ignoring the points you get with a paid night that you do not earn for a reward night stay.

    The disappointing change with Priority Club Rewards is the program added higher tiers of 35,000 points for Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo in January 2012. InterContinental Hotels can be 50,000 points per night. Hundreds of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels are 25,000 points per night. Many hotels now cost 10,000 points more in 2012.

    The best values in Priority Club Rewards are their discount rewards. Priority Club has Last Minute Reward Nights at 50% off. PointBreaks hotels which just posted today are sometimes 80% off where a 30,000 or 40,000 points InterContinental is only 5,000 points per night.

    Over the years I have shown numerous analyses where PointBreaks hotels were well over $200 per night for published rates or 5,000 points per night.

    I save my points and use them sparingly when I find a PointBreaks hotel or other good discount Priority Club reward night.

    When booking a standard priced reward night, I usually book the reward night as a Points & Cash reward and pay $60 for 10,000 points.

    In the past couple years I have paid about $150 for 25,000 points for reward nights by always buying Points & Cash reward nights when the published rate at Crowne Plaza hotels in Chicago and Washington, D.C. was about $300 per night. Priceline might have been $35 to $50 cheaper, but I knew in advance exactly where I was going to stay.

    I find it pretty easy to get $10 per 1,000 points value from Priority Club points, but I am selective about where I use my points.

  10. @Gary – you can buy 60,000 points for $360 by booking and cancelling six Points & Cash reward stays at IHG hotels.

    The Deal Mommy did the math in the first comment.

    You can get Platinum elite status for an extra $100 by paying $460 to buy 60,000 points with this sale.

    That is a good deal for someone who is new to Priority Club since you can’t book a Points & Cash Reward unless you have the points difference for the reward stay already in your account.

    For example, you need to already have 5,000 Priority Club points to book a 15,000 points Points & Cash reward stay.

    Priority Club might frown on a member with 5,000 points buying 60,000 points for $360 through six Points & Cash reservations that were booked and then canceled.

    The main point is points purchased while booking a Points & Cash reward stay do not count as elite qualifying points.

    Points purchased through this Priority Club special offer to buy points do count as elite qualifying points.

  11. So I got a bit lost in the analysis in the previous comment, but it sounds like this deal is marginally worth doing speculatively? so if you’re selective, you can get $10 for 1000 points, while you can by them for about $7.70 per 1000 under this deal? can you use the points at intercontinental hotels, and would that help the value proposition at all?

  12. @frequent flyer collector – You can use the points for any of 4,500+ IHG hoels worldwide.

    I updated this post to illustrate the Points & Cash reward process.

    I recall showing an InterContinental Hotel Geneva rate in 2010 or 2011 where the redemption value was over $100 per 1,000 Priority Club points. Published rates were over $4,000 per night and reward nights were available.

  13. Thanks Ric. I think it may be worth it since I would like to get the Platinum without wasting a Chase App on this right now. Then use it to leverage CC to get Gold to diversify my status in the hotel chains. It never hurts to have top status especially with the summer months coming with the kids. The only down side is that status at PC seems to be lacking and suspect depending on where you go.

  14. Be careful with the points and cash trick. There have been reports on flyertalk of people who had their accounts frozen because they used it multiple times.

    If you use it once or twice you should be fine.

  15. Thanks all for the analysis, I’m deciding on the speculative part also, unlike the CC 50K for 1-night stay (no brainer)

    PC PointBreaks promotion suck in general (for Canada at least), but if I know I have upcoming trips that need hotels in US, then, if there are good deals, I don’t mind paying $460 for Platinum, and hopefully get 3+ nights out of it

    FYI: I don’t have PC member yet, my brother does (90K), so Points+Cash wouldn’t help me and $460 is only $100 more than $360 and gets me Platinum

  16. Is the Priority Club Platinum elite status = InterContinental Ambassador status or InterContinental Royal Ambassador status? Which one is more valuable if they are not the same? thank you in advance.

  17. Its quite unusual when buying the points with any of these methods turns out to be a good deal with IHG. The Holiday Inn Express on the outskirts of London I favor is $30 cheaper at the AAA rate than the points rate, and $40 cheaper than the points plus cash rate.

    I just checked the Crowne Plaza in Washington DC for a June weekend, and the AAA rate is $150. Buying the points is going to cost $210. And the former gets me additional points and credits toward elite status as well.

    The weekday rate is another matter in DC. It’s running about $320 a night for the June dates I checked, whereas I can buy those points for $210 {all my “buy points” figures are for the “points and cash trick” price. And my “room purchase” rates are all AAA rates}.

    So I do save $110 a night. Which might be a deal for someone on business who needs weeknights. As a leisure traveler, I’m going to try very hard to arrange to be there on the far less expensive weekend.

    In summary, purchasing IHG points is only going to be a bargain at expensive locations on high rate dates. Which makes it a deal for an “aspirational” stay. But a money loser for a bargain stay.

    The real “deal” here is the Chase PC card, which gives you 60K to 80K ppoints with no first year fee. And then a free night each year for only the $49 annual fee. And Platinum status as long as you keep the card. If you can get this card, especially thru the 80K points link, it is an absolute keeper.

  18. If, as Fox says, “There have been reports on flyertalk of people who had their accounts frozen because they used it multiple times”, then I have to raise my “buy points” price to the higher price that IHG offically sells them for. Which makes buying them even less likely to be a bargain, especially vs the AAA rate.

  19. Don’t really get this. What “real” perk does Platinum Elite get you, at least compared to Hyatt Diamond or Marriott Platinum? The only valuable benefit I can see is Complimentary Room Upgrades.

  20. @Raj B – you can’t get Hyatt Diamond or Marriott Platinum for $460. Priority Club Platinum is a midscale hotel chain elite level. You will not get anywhere near the sort of benefits received as a Hyatt Diamond (likely $2,500+ in annual spend) or Marriott Platinum (likely $6,000+ in annual spend).

    Priority Club Platinum gets you some upgrades and small perks like a snack here or there, dining discounts, and 50% bonus points on all stays.

    The point is you can become Priority Club Platinum for the remainder of 2012 and all 2013 while buying 60,000 points. The 60,000 points alone can be worth $1,200 using them for PointBreaks hotels.

    At the very minimum you should be able to get $600 in hotel value if you use your 60,000 points selectively. That means you don’t want to redeem 25,000 points for a hotel night you can buy for $100.

  21. @WT – Ambassador is an entirely different status than Priority Club Platinum for hotel stays at InterContinental Hotels. You can buy Ambassador for $200 or 32,000 Priority Club points.
    http://www.intercontinental.com/intercontinental/en/gb/ambassador.

    This is definitely worthwhile if you plan to spend a few nights at InterContinental Hotels where you can receive an upgrade room. The membership packet also comes with a 5,000 Priority Club points certificate and a Buy One Night, Get One Night Free weekend certificate valid for InterContinental Hotels.

    Here is a post where I compared spending 32,000 points or using a promotion for free IC Ambassador after 3 stays.
    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2011/04/02/free-ambassador-status-with-3-intercontinental-stays-but-32000-points-is-better-value/

    Royal Ambassador has huge benefits, but you need at least 50 nights in IHG hotels and stays in several different InterContinental Hotels to qualify.
    Or receive a referral certificate from another Royal Ambassador for complimentary status.

    I received an upgrade room category at The Palazzo, Las Vegas (InterContinental Alliance Resort) with my Priority Club Platinum status, but that is not common for InterContinental Hotels.

  22. This is a good read from last year describing why I find it useful to have points ready for a sudden opportunity or emergency.

    The post describes my rationale and options with different hotel points when trying to figure out what to do for a last minute hotel when rates were skyhigh.

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2011/05/22/earning-hotel-points-for-cheaper-stays/

    I stayed at the InterContinental San Francisco on points to attend a conference when it would have cost $800 to pay for the room.

  23. Staying at the Indianapolis Indigo hotel soon on Pointbreaks rate. First time in Indigo! How do they treat Platinums? This program will go a long way to improve if they start offering the elite benefits for award stays! If Pointbreaks go away…I will go away too:-)

  24. I will absolutely do this because it is great leverage with the points breaks and the Chase PC. Yes, just a bit more expensive than the .6 cents trick, but that carries risk and is a pain.

    By my calculations, combined with the credit card, which gives published 60k sign-up, free night annually, and 10% off awards, using Points Breaks one can get 31 nights at an Intercon for less than $19/night.

  25. I have a feeling that IC hotels might be included in the Discover America promos starting in a week…

  26. @James – good point about DiscoverAmerica. Announcement of the initial sales are supposed to come out Monday, April 2. The prices will likely be as low as $60 per 1,000 points.

    Last year they were $67 for 10,000 points or 10% less with American Express so about $60. And those points qualify for elite status too.

  27. Discover America is back and going to be roughly equal to using the ‘points and cash’ trick, when using AMEX.
    https://dailygetaways.ustravel.org/

    For those of us who sadly don’t have enough points to use the trick, this promo might be an option (and then maybe maintain somewhat with the cash and points trick?)

    Question: would this promo post as a travel expense on Sapphire? Or is there a better way to purchase points via the promo?

    I’m also guessing that Discover America is “one per person” so that wouldn’t get me too far anyway.

    Lastly, how quick do these points post? I’ve got my eye on a Points Break option in Denver, ideally checking in on April 12th.

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

  28. @Mikes – I am the wrong blogger to ask about credit card details. I pay little attention to credit cards.

    I do not understand your “one per person” comment. You can buy 20 sets of points for up to 500,000 Priority Club points with the Daily Getaways offer.

    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/04/02/daily-getaways-buy-priority-club-points-april-9/

    You can always buy 5,000 points from Priority Club for $67.50.

    Buying April 9 on Daily Getaways and having points in your account by April 12. Perhaps?

  29. Ric, sorry I missed your April 2nd update at the top. I was assuming the Daily Getaways would be limited in order to drive more unique business.

    If it’s possible for one person to buy 5×20, then the entire available quantity could theoretically be exhausted by 6.5 purchasers.

    The redemption terms do say “Within 10 business days of purchase, you’ll have 10,000 Priority Club® points deposited into the Priority Club account …” so I might have to consider other options or other dates.

    Thanks again!

  30. Ah… I see that there are many more points split out into different brands in different quantities. Should make for an interesting 15 minutes…

  31. would be my first time doing this so I have 2 basic questions;
    #1. If I did this in January 2013 would the platinum elite be good for all of 2013 and 2014?
    #2. The IHG site did not mention it, does this status give you any deals on rates for renting out a conference room?

  32. I’ve noticed a significant increase in all the PC point costs for hotels. I’ve been paying up to 25,000 points for a regular Holiday Inn in a good area. Intercontinental Hotels used to be in the 25K to 30K … not I can’t find any for under 40K and up to 50K in more popular areas. So to pay $575 for 60,000 points would equal about 1 night (with leftover) at Intercontinentals such as the Willard in DC. (rack rate is around $400.) or 3 nights at 20,000 points per night such as the Holiday Inn Express Marathon Key, FL. At $130 per night that would equal $390 if you bought those 3 nights. So it seems if you did this deal, you’d be paying an extra $175 or more for Platinum status but wouldn’t make any points on the stays you used the points for. Kind of pointless because Priority Club hotels rarely, if ever upgrade you … and almost no PC hotels have club lounges. So … whats the point of being Platinum except for the double point value?

  33. What is known for quite a view time but stil not mentioned by Loyalty Traveler and other bloggers is this: PCR silently updated prerequisited for achieving Elite Status by points: From 2013 onwards,”promotional points, points vouchers, points purchase, points transfers, and points deposits, will be considered Non-Elite Qualifying Points and will not be counted towards elite status”.

  34. @Gerhard – Thanks for reminding me that I have not yet written about the Priority Club elite points change. I saw it on several travel blogs last week while I was in Hawaii.

  35. @Gerhard – which seems silly since you get Platinum just for having the Priority Club credit card. Figure your annual fee is the cost of a night and you’re Platinum.

  36. @ Charles Clark: Let aside that not every reader of this blog is US resident, s/he qualifies for PCR Visa Card issued by Chase or just don’t want to apply for another credit card for whatever reasons, I only commented that the path buying 60K PCR points and achieving Platinum Elite status (described by Loyalty Traveler in this post) is closed from 2013 onwards.

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